Preparing Images For Upload

Preparing Images for Upload

Table of Contents

About This Page

This page tells you what you need to know about formatting and resizing digital images to submit for a critique. 

Read this advice carefully, there have been some recent changes (October 2023).

This document is NOT a suitable reference when formatting images for exhibitions or other larger format requirements. Separate advice will be given in those instances.

Terms and Conditions of submission

Terms and conditions for submitting images are available on our website here.

Digital files

The club has specific requirements to enable you to upload images using the website. These requirements are to ensure that your images look their best when they are presented and also to ensure that we do not suffer any technical difficulties when working with your images.

Where possible, we prevent you from uploading an image that doesn’t meet our requirements.

These instructions are based on exporting a copy of your image using Lightroom, Photoshop, Apple Photos app and Windows Photos App. You can of course use any image editing software to prepare your images as most have similar functionality.

Required Image Format

  • The file must be in JPEG format with a 3 character file extension of .jpg
  • The maximum width allowed is 1920 pixels (px).
  • The maximum height allowed is 1080px.
  • The minimum width and height allowed is 900px.
  • The maximum file size is 1MB.
  • Colour Space set to sRGB

Note that these specifications are regardless of image orientation (more information below).

File format

The file must be a JPEG image, we do not accept images in other formats.

Depending on your camera, software and various other settings, you may need to convert to JPEG before uploading.

Although your file must be a JPEG format, it must have a 3-character extension of jpg. A valid name for your file would be: filename.jpg.

Minimum and maximum width & height

The maximum width and height are regardless of image orientation.

You are able to submit a landscape image that is 1920 x 1080px, but you can’t submit a portrait image greater than 1080px tall.

Likewise, the largest square image you can upload is 1080 x 1080px.

If any side of the image is smaller than 900px, the image will be too small so we prevent you from uploading it.

Image proportion diagram

Maximum file size

You won’t be able to upload an image larger than 1MB.

To retain the quality of your image during preparation please read the relevant sections below (dependant on your software of choice).

File Naming Convention

It is important that files are named correctly so that they will not give us technical issues when processing them for the the slide shows.

Name the file as the image title, for example, if you want your composition to be announced as ‘This Is Definitely A Gold’ then name your file this is definitely a gold.jpg

You can set the file name at anytime during the editing process or before you upload it. Simply right click the file name on a computer or press to rename on a mobile.

Please ensure the name you enter on the upload form matches the name of your file.

File Renaming

Example using Finder in MacOS (similar adjustments available in File Explorer in Windows).

What to avoid

Do not use any of these common characters, symbols or conventions:

  • # hash, % percentage sign, & ampersand, { left curly bracket, } right curly bracket, \ back slash, < left angle bracket, > right angle bracket, * asterisk, ? question mark, / forward slash, $ dollar sign, £ pound sign, ‘ single quote, ” double quotes, ! exclamation mark, : colon, @ at sign.
  • Do not use any non-standard or non-English characters in your filename.
  • Do not include your own name or any other personal identifier in your filename.
  • Avoid file names over 30 characters long.
  • Do not start or end your filename with a space.
  • Do not use a common word or phrase that other entrants might use. e.g. if multiple members submit files called ‘untitled.jpg’ it is likely to cause confusion.
  • Ensure that the filename extension is in lowercase and only 3 characters long.
  • The image must not show any logo, text overlay, copyright or other symbol.

Incorrectly named files may be rejected.

How To Format And Export Your Images

In all of the following examples when a dimension limitation is set always select proportional resizing to maintain the original aspect ratio.  

Adobe Lightroom Classic

For this guide, instructions and screenshots for Lightroom are based on the Mac version of Adobe Lightroom Classic, version 12.

Select the image you want to export then select File > Export from the top menu, to display the export dialog box.

Select or set the options highlighted as shown as shown in the example below (explanation below).

Lightroom Export Window

Lightroom Export Panel
  1. File Naming: Enter a custom file name, following our File naming convention.
  2. File Settings: Adjust the Quality Slider. Start at 80% and check the output appearance and file size. Experiment!
  3. Image Sizing: Set 1920 x 1080px
  4. Output Sharpening: is completely optional, See how low/standard/high effects your image.
  5. Metadata: Always remove Person & Location. Set “Include” dropdown menu to suit your requirements
  6. Watermarking: must always be de-selected.

Note: The Quality slider has a larger effect on file size but a lesser effect on quality. Setting 80% is usually a good compromise between file size and appearance.  Try more compression and see what effect it has.

More details can be seen on Adobe’s Lightroom Classic website.

Adobe Photoshop

For this guide instructions and screenshots for Photoshop are based on the Mac version of Adobe Adobe Photoshop 2024.

Follow these steps to export your work. Open the image and select File>Export>Export As. This opens a new window with the export controls as seen below.

Photoshop Export Panel

The panel has output settings controls in the right hand side bar, an image preview, dimensions and file size in the left bar. 

Photoshop Export Panel Closeup

Settings Panel

Looking more closely at the settings panel you will see controls for:

  • Format and Quality.
  • Image. Dimensions/Scale/Resample.
  • Canvas size.
  • Metadata.
  • Color Space.

Reducing the quality, as in Lightroom, reduces the file size. In the example above a 60mp file measuring some 9500 x 6300px was reduced to 377kb with quality = 6.

Sharpening in this example is achieved by selecting the various  “Resample” options.

More details about these settings and “Export As” can be found on Adobe’s Photoshop website.

Apple Photos App

You do not need expensive and complex image editing software to prepare your image for the next critique.

In this section we will consider the native application available on macOS powered computers (the mobile will not be detailed on this page but it offers very similar functions as the desktop version).

Open the application and select the image you want to process. On the top menu select File>Export>Export Photo.

A help guide is available within the application, select Help from the top menu and then Photos Help

Photos Export Panel

  • You will need to decide whether your image is likely to exceed width (landscape) or height (portrait) limits.
  • Reduce the “JPEG Quality” to reduce the file size.
  • Export
  • Always check your output before sending
Apple Photos Export Panel

Windows Photos App

The Photos App currently is avaiable in Windows 10 & 11.

Open your image in the application and click on the 3 dots in the top menu and select “See More”.

Windows Photos Menu 1

Click Resize Image

  • Using the Pixels option set the maximum dimensions to suit your aspect ratio (see note below).
  • Adjust the JPG Quality.
  • Click Save
  • Always check your output before sending
Windows Photos Menu 2

Please note: In this example the aspect ratio is 3:2 so it’s height is the limiting factor at 1080px.

If in doubt, try it out!


  • Resize your image to remain within the maximum dimensions of 1920 x 1080px (minimum height 900px).
  • Only use .jpg file extension.
  • Use sRGB Color Space.
  • Adjust the output quality to reduce the file size below 1MB
  • Use your image’s name as your file name and avoid the use of any illegal character.
  • Please ensure the image name on the entry form matches the file name

Any problems please email the team